Please select your home edition
Edition
PredictWind.com 2014

RORC Caribbean 600 - Sensational conditions predicted for 5th edition

by Trish Jenkins on 17 Feb 2013
ICAP Leopard in action ICAP Leopard http://www.leopard3.com
Only 48 hours before a record breaking fleet sets sail for the fifth RORC Caribbean 600, weather forecasts are unanimously predicting sensational conditions, ideal for record-breaking pace, and there is every possibility that this will be the fastest RORC Caribbean 600 on record. Twenty knots or more of warm trade winds are anticipated for the start, with the wind and the Caribbean swell building during the course of the race, perhaps piping up to thirty knots on day two.

Mike Slade's canting keel Maxi, ICAP Leopard, is the out-and-out favourite to scorch around the 600-mile course to take the first gun. Navigator Hugh Agnew has been keeping a close eye on the weather forecast for several days. In the meantime, the shore crew have been hard at work, meticulously preparing the boat for the wild ride to come.

'At the moment, the forecasts seem to be quite stable,' commented Agnew. 'We can expect 20-26 knots of easterly wind, maybe slightly to the south of due east for the duration of our race. The longest leg of the course is from St.Barths to Guadeloupe and with this wind direction, coupled with the apparent wind created by Leopard, it will be forward of the beam, so we will be unlikely to fly a spinnaker. This will slow us down, but the other side of the coin is that this wind direction may be beneficial on a crucial part of the course - the south side of Guadeloupe. If we get a one-sided beat, requiring few tacks, this could really work in our favour. It is a long beat between Guadeloupe and Marie-Galante and in my view the race for a record could be won or lost there.'

Leopard held the RORC Caribbean 600 course record for two years, however George David's Rambler 100 eclipsed that in 2011, setting a benchmark of 40 hours 20 minutes and 2 seconds.

Dockside in Antigua, Leopard's skipper Chris Sherlock was keeping his cards close to his chest but he admitted that there was a possibility of winning back the record. Something Leopard's owner, Mike Slade, has set his heart on.

'Our routing software is showing 40 hours at the moment, so there is not much fat on it, but we have a chance,' hinted Sherlock. 'There are three things that will stop us from breaking the record. Firstly if we go the wrong way and get out of big breeze, the other factors are maintaining the yacht and boat handling; just one bad furl on a sail can cost us 15 minutes and breakages can put an end to it totally.'

'In my opinion, our time could be half an hour either side of the record, we will just have to see how it pans out. Record or no record this looks like it will be a fantastic race with awesome conditions. Every time we do this '600, we learn more. Even when we are out on charter, we often sneak a look at a part of the race track, we have a lot of knowledge of what goes on behind those islands. Leopard is in great shape, we have a very capable crew and it would top off a great season if we got our record back.'

The RORC Caribbean 600 programme starts in earnest today with the Skippers' Briefing followed by the official opening party. It will be standing room only for invited guests, jam-packed shoreside at Antigua Yacht Club. Owners and their crew are set to enjoy a Caribbean drinks party and canapés accompanied by a traditional steel band. RORC Commodore, Mike Greville, competing in the race for the second time with CM60, Venomous, will open the proceedings.

The fifth RORC Caribbean 600 will start at 1100 local time (1500 GMT) on Monday 18th February.
Caribbean 600 website
Mackay BoatsBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearPredictWind.com 2014

Related Articles

Charleston Race Week - Overall report
Charleston Race Week 2017 took place in April 20-23 2017. ORC rule was implemented as the principal handicap rule Charleston Race Week 2017 took place in April 20-23 2017. ORC rule was implemented as the principal handicap rule for the Charleston Race Week 2017, it was the first time this system was used in a major North American regatta. Thirty boats raced in four separate ORC Classes at this event.
Posted today at 8:22 am
Nations' Cup - Overall report
This colourful race sees crews turn out for racing in their national dress or theatric costumes. Often referred to as sailing’s answer to the (Hong Kong) Rugby Sevens, one of the Club’s most patriotic events is taking place this Sunday 30 April. This colourful race sees crews turn out for racing in their national dress or theatric costumes. The Club has already received 35 entries from ten nations including: Hong Kong, England, New Zealand, China, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore Wales
Posted today at 5:04 am
World Cup Series in Hyères – Racing needs to be fast, not the food
Spanish sisters, Carla and Marta Munté Carrasco, sail together in the 49erFX and know they have a problem. Many sailors will be brimming with confidence after browsing the weather forecast and will be striving for gold in Hyères. But it is a team small in stature that know exactly where they stand in terms of performance that intrigues.
Posted on 24 Apr
New addition to North Sail for Volvo Ocean 65 racing machines
Their sails have powered eight out of nine Volvo Ocean Race winners since 1989-90, with Steinlager 2. Instead of assembling cloth panels into a particular sail shape, the Volvo Ocean Race sails are composites. This means that 3Di material 'tapes' are laid in a specific arrangement, offering stable structure to the sail where it is needed most.
Posted on 24 Apr
Strong fleet turns out for RCIYC Commodore Cup Jersey to St Malo Race
With the wind in the northwest and the ebb under way, the beat needed just a single tack to make the Passage Rock buoy With a reach off the line, boats headed quickly for the Pignonet buoy, just to the east of Noirmont Point, before hardening up for the beat to the Passage Rock buoy. Apart from a few wiser heads, the start saw boats bunched at the windward end of the line, those to leeward had the benefit of cleaner air and were well up at the Pignonet.
Posted on 24 Apr
Experience is key as Team Oman Air prepare for Extreme Sailing Series
Team Oman Air skipper Phil Robertson says his crew's unrivalled experience could prove vital to victory in second round Known worldwide for hosting sailing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Qingdao is notorious for its ability to catch crews off guard with a fickle breeze that can go from next to nothing to gale force in a matter of minutes.
Posted on 24 Apr
FAST40+ Spring Regatta - Preview
The second event in a busy FAST40+ season will be the FAST40+ Spring Regatta, hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club. The second event in a busy FAST40+ season will be the FAST40+ Spring Regatta, hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club. FAST40+ Race Director, Stuart Childerley, sets the scene for the event.
Posted on 24 Apr
Meet the Clipper 2017-18 Race crew Zuzana Vybiralova
A first for Clipper Race, Zuzana Vybiralova will make history this year as first Czech Republican to take part in race A first for the Clipper Race, crew member Zuzana Vybiralova will make history this year as the first Czech Republican to take part in the race in eleven editions.
Posted on 24 Apr
Melges 24 European Sailing Series - And the winners are…
Maximum number of races sailed in almost perfect conditions was a result of three-day Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta Maximum number of races sailed in almost perfect conditions was a result of three-day Portoroz Melges 24 Regatta - the season opener both for the 2017 Melges 24 European Sailing Series and Melges 24 Italian Sailing Series. Andrea Racchelli and his team on Altea ITA722, the winner of the 2016 Melges 24 European Sailing Series, were showing their superiority since the beginning of the regatta
Posted on 24 Apr
Champions crowned after tricky finale at Sperry Charleston Race Week
Charleston is known for its reliable spring seabreeze, but the Holy City’s coast outdid itself this year Charleston is known for its reliable spring seabreeze, but the Holy City’s coast outdid itself this year during the 22nd edition of Sperry Charleston Race Week. It wasn’t just the three race days either; from the first team’s arrival for practice more than a week earlier until the lengthy awards ceremony on Sunday night, reliable southerly winds buffeted the region, ensuring maximum racing
Posted on 24 Apr